Fraud is an illegal action undertaken by an individual who seeks to take advantage of an employer through devious means. In addition, fraud refers to a deliberate misrepresentation, directly or indirectly, causing a person or employer to suffer a monetary loss. Embezzlement is commonly known as larceny/theft of assets (property or money) by an individual in a position of responsibility or trust over those assets. The key is that the defendant had legal access to another’s money or property, but not legal ownership of it. Taking the money or property for the defendant’s own gain is stealing; when combined with the fact that the stealing was also a violation of a special position of trust, you have the unique crime of embezzlement.
Embezzlement can occur in a variety of circumstances. For example, a bank teller has legal access to money and when he/she knowingly steals money for their personal gain, he/she has committed the crime of embezzlement. Officers and employees of companies can also embezzle funds belonging to the company, as can family members caring for a relative or professionals entrusted with an individuals money can also embezzle money.
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